DIY All Glass Tank Build Question on Overflow/Sump - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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DIY All Glass Tank Build Question on Overflow/Sump

Background:

I've been out of the hobby for a few years (since 2010 when I deployed). At that time I was the proud owner of the rebuilt Big Clear Kahuna that I had picked up from Scolley and remade. When the deployment came around I simply couldn't expect my wife to watch our 4 kids and take care of the aquarium so I found a good home for it and haven't had an aquarium since. Rebuilding the Big Clear Kahuna was a good experience and I love the way a rimless low iron glass tank looked so I would like to build a new one.

With the previous tank I had a canister filter and i ran all of the equipment inline. It was a PVC engineering marvel but I would like to simplify and make some things (like auto top off, autodosing) easier to do and so I've decided to include an overflow/sump.

In line with the minimal stuff in the tank idea of the sump I would like to have a minimalist overflow as well. I'll be having the glass cut to order and want to have it set up correctly when I order it.

Here is what I am thinking please tell me where I am going wrong.

I would like to cut a weir into the back panel of glass that would extend about one half of the total length of the tank (total length will be 40 inches). It would be about half an inch lower, no teeth and would then go into an external overflow that would be set up with a bean animal type drain. This will allow the tank to be very near full and have nothing in the way as far as scaping and lighting. The external overflow would then be siliconed into place at the level of the top of the rest of the tank. This will allow the water level to be about 1/2 inch from the top of the tank and it will allow the overflow box to be as shallow (front to back) as possible. I've looked at add in boxes from glass holes and the ghost overflow but the Ghost one said the highest water level would be 1.75 inches from the top and I couldn't find anything on the threejole from Glass Holes.

What do you guys think? Any better options?

Brian

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 08:16 PM
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you could try a coast to coast overflow, where instead of notching a weir into the back of the tank, you have the rear glass panel cut a little shorter than the rest and have a glass overflow box running the entire length of the rear (or side) of the tank, might make the glass fabrication costs a bit cheaper and you get a lot more surface skimming area
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatermusic87 View Post
you could try a coast to coast overflow, where instead of notching a weir into the back of the tank, you have the rear glass panel cut a little shorter than the rest and have a glass overflow box running the entire length of the rear (or side) of the tank, might make the glass fabrication costs a bit cheaper and you get a lot more surface skimming area
Just my opinion, but this would be the safer way to go. From firsthand experience: Cutting a weir isn't drilling a hole. I tried cutting a weir in a 125G made of 1/2" glass (it didn't have any top bracing) and chipped one corner. The chip was small enough that I didn't consider it an issue. Wrong. After the tank was filled for about an hour, that chip popped and ran straight down to the bottom corner in a heartbeat. I wouldn't try it with low iron glass.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 12:04 AM
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I just drilled a 50 gallon and built a bean animal external.

I used two schedule 80 2" bulk heads. I feed the bulkheads into the plexi weir during assemble so the internal weir is just wide enough for the bulk heads.

My plexi external box hangs off the bulk heads but I built posts to help support it. I didn't like idea of the box having a moment(lever) on the glass.
I installed the weir so the top edge was level with the bottom trim of the tank so you don't see a waterline, but you have about 1.5 inches of safety clearance in the tank.
Here is a link to my build
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-...an-animal.html

I built the sump out of a used 30 gallon I picked up at the LFS for $10. I just glued in some baffles to get the water to go over and under a couple sheets of glass.
Its been running just about two weeks and I LOVE IT!

1.The water level is constant in the tank
2. It is dead quite
3. Its fail safe
4. Except for the return line everything is either inline in the cabinet or in the sump.

The only drawback so far...I don't have teeth either and my sterbai like to take a ride on occasion. I just net them out of the external box.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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My intention is to have the glass cut by professionals prior to me putting the tank together. I don't want a coast to coast because I'm going to drill the back for the returns as I don't want anything visible from the front or sides. There is a little niche that it will fit into and hide all of the equipment. I found a thread on a reef forum since posting this where the guy did basically the same thing so it looks like it should be doable. The cut was rounded, I expect to keep it from having a stress point and cracking as mentioned above.

The more I look at the glass holes threejole the more I like it but it's so new nobody seems to have an opinion on it, except the people at glass holes.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 02:08 AM
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Just my two cents...I'm cheap and love dIY...

but those full kits tend to be way overpriced. You pay a lot for not having to do the leg work. I just don't like paying $4 for a hose clamp and $5 for one foot of pvc.

Keep thinking this through and you will figure out a way to make this work for you. Enjoy the design process!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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I agree, they are definitely overpriced. What I like about the Glass Holes Threejole is that the box in the tank is relatively small, and the plumbing attaches directly to the bulkhead next to the fitting. There is nothing outside the tank besides the plumbing.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandmiles View Post
I would like to cut a weir into the back panel of glass that would extend about one half of the total length of the tank (total length will be 40 inches). It would be about half an inch lower, no teeth and would then go into an external overflow that would be set up with a bean animal type drain. This will allow the tank to be very near full and have nothing in the way as far as scaping and lighting. The external overflow would then be siliconed into place at the level of the top of the rest of the tank. This will allow the water level to be about 1/2 inch from the top of the tank and it will allow the overflow box to be as shallow (front to back) as possible. I've looked at add in boxes from glass holes and the ghost overflow but the Ghost one said the highest water level would be 1.75 inches from the top and I couldn't find anything on the threejole from Glass Holes.

What do you guys think? Any better options?

Brian

Cutting a weir in glass is a BAD idea. I am a structural engineer and have spent hundreds of hours working with finite element stress analysis of plates. An inside corner will always cause a stress concentration that is likely to start a crack. In concrete slabs, we add extra steel, in steel plates, we soften the corner. I think there's a reason there are no manufacturers making tanks like this.


If you are really set on a limited width weir, I'd do it by cutting the back panel lower than the others and siliconing strips to the top of it to close off the edges - I did this in my sump and it worked fine - not very pretty, but I'm a hack at silicone work and mine is in a sump . . . A rounded hole would help, but I personally wouldn't risk it.


Alternatively, have you looked at the Synergy Reef overflow? They are kind of similar to the thre jole, but seem to have a little more feedback around - IMO they look a little nicer:


Synergy Reef Overflow - 16 Inch - Synergy Reef Systems - Overflows - Sumps & Tanks - Bulk Reef Supply
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 12:01 AM
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Here's my reef synergy overflow.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 04:21 PM
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Don't plan on keeping any small fish they will spend more time in your sump than in the tank. I have teeth and sponges and they still get thru. What your reasoning for the need for that much over flow? Just me but the smaller the overflow the less it's seen.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 06:05 PM
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It gives great satisfaction working on your own tank.
I just completed replacing a broken panel on one of my breeding tanks.
Had to give it two tries as it popped out the first time as I tightened the band I was using to pull the sides together.

The inside is probably waterproof, but I will strip the internal sealant and redo that separately, I don't trust old and new silicone meeting.
The important thing is to have glass clear joints, I did put an external brace on though, as our tanks never come with those black braces you guys have.

Anyways, $2 worth of glass and a quarter tube silicone, and my tank is good as new.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clear Water View Post
Don't plan on keeping any small fish they will spend more time in your sump than in the tank. I have teeth and sponges and they still get thru. What your reasoning for the need for that much over flow? Just me but the smaller the overflow the less it's seen.
I want a larger overflow to accommodate a beananimal setup with three drains. This seems to be the ultimate in quiet and safe sump operation. Both very important considerations for my wife.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 08:58 AM
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OH man, that's crazy! The very first thread that I ever read about planted tanks was with Scolley and the building of his 75 gallon. I was distraught when the seam busted but I did remember that pic of you picking it up and taking it away before he moved on to the acrylic tank.

Wow I'm glad that tank is in great hands, I wonder if the new owner would give an update on how it is.

That's great that you're building a new tank, I like the idea of the coast to coast but it seems you want something nice and clean. something Scolley style.

where are you getting the glass from? Ever since reading the original journal I've been obsessed with building a similar size tank.
Well if you need any help just PM me. I'm right down here in San Diego (La Mesa) so not too far a drive

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